Friday, July 30, 2010

A less cluttered life......

Storage lockers a great businesses.

If you figured out what they get per square foot it's often better than a downtown office building.
For What?
To store stuff that you haven't used or remember that you even have.

La Senora is away visiting family down waay south, so I am stranded so to speak in Northern California awaiting her return , load up the car with all the new acquisitions and return to some semblance of normality.

One business that I wish I had either set up or invested in, years ago, is the Mini Storage or Storage Locker business.

Seem in a land of abundance Americans have too much stuff.

Just drive around any housing tract and look into the garages while the doors are perched open.

What you will see is stuff crammed to the gills, quite often so much that they need to park their vehicles outside because the two car garage will no longer allow the sliding in of even one vehicle.

When I was closing up part of one of my businesses I had lots of studio equipment, I kept it because foolishly I thought that at some time I would set up a studio in Mexico to do voice overs, or other customer production that would fetch me some spare change.

In my hunger for adventure I had socked away several audio consoles. And audio console is a large board with meters and a knob for each audio input source. The one pictured here was one of the ones I was saving to use at some future time. I have a lot of emotional ties to it because it just happened to be the same type console of the radio station where I first started my radio journey. That was in 1965.

I was fortunate to find one years ago in pristine condition and purchased it to be the centerpiece of my studio that I would someday build.

Well, fast forward a few decades, to 2010.
No longer is any mixing done on this type of console, since everything is digital. Now you do it all on a computer keyboard and a mouse.

I guess I could use it to control the input to my stereo amplifier at home.
Let's see, I could connect the Television audio to input 3, my Ipod to input 4, the Internet radio to input 5, the CD player to 6 so on and so one.
The only problem would be that my wife would go bonkers having this thing in our living room, since it is about 5 ft wide and weighs about 100 lbs.

I wonder how my living room would look if I was single again. Let's see, the console would be on one large table, the work bench on the other, probably a few satellite receivers and the ham radio stuff on the other area. Easily I could nest into a space now taken up by furniture.

Well that will happen when hell freezes over at this point. Mainly because the bane of my existence, Technology has forced out another stockpile of gear that brought many hours of enjoyment and employment way back in time.

Since now what was a room full of equipment is all done a server and couple of flat screen monitors, I need to get rid of more stuff from my storage unit.
I placed a listing on Ebay for a couple of items and sadly very few aficionados of past technology applied for the honor of getting my stuff.

Perfectly good and working Color Video Monitor made by Tektronics in the dumpster.
And vintage RCA stereo cassette recorder unit, same thing.

My record turntable did bring some cash in. Seems there are collectors or audiophiles that hunger for something to play their vinyl.

I had bids from Hong Kong, Germany, Japan and Korea.

The winning bid was from a chap in San Francisco. At least I wont have to pack the unit and it will give me a reason to drop down into the city to deliver it and meet the savior of the unit.

Maybe I should have got to my projects a little sooner before the steamroller of technology flattened out all my dreams........

What I thought I was going to do in Mexico kind of all got changed. I had plans of setting up a workshop in order to play with my stuff. I enjoy working with my hands, fixing equipment, building things, etc.

Now the things that I enjoy more is reading and sitting around the plaza watching people and the world go by, while ingesting some dark strong coffee.


Calypso said...

Oh Boy - that Ampex two-track brings back floods of memories ;-) Quite useless, yet beautiful item. One I would love to have and like you realize it is totally useless and I need to get it out of my mind.

I think I will just save your photo and look at it now and again ;-)

A while back I sold some Neumann microphones which had appreciated considerably. Anything lacking digital function past the microphone is not likely to bring in any money other than as you suggest audiophiles that still listen to vinyl - records - what are they???

Tancho said...

People won't believe what we had to pay for the Ampex AG 350's in their day...
I have a Altec 21D listed currently on Ebay , we'll see what that brings.
I just couldn't have imagined the technology changing as fast as it did, or maybe I didn't change fast enough either....
Now I need to figure out what to do with 5000+ LP's ?

Calypso said...

And that Gates console...with the pure little airy 12AX7's front end.

A story:

Back in the 60's I was sent by Capitol Records to record Bobbie Gentry and Lou Rawls (different albums) in Muscle Shoals, Alabama - I worked at a studio owned by a producer named Rick Hall (which reminds me of several other stories - but another time).

Anyway, The little town which was a few blocks long had about 4 recording studios. I visited them all in my spare time (little else happening in Muscle Shoals).

I walked in one that had so many gold records they were laying on the floor and leaning against walls. No actual wall space was left to hang its successes. It was Norala Sound Studio.

Now I was there from the engineering capital of recording studios - Hollywood and somewhat of a celebrity at that being a well known engineer from the BIG city.

In the control room was a kludged together stereo recording console half of which was a small 6 or 8 position mono Gates radio console.This to acquire stereo capability.

By this time we were into 8 track with consoles with many mic inputs (all working from sliders not BIG round Black knobs).

How humbled I became realizing the song of the year (1967 I think) had been recorded in that little studio. There big as life was a Gold Record for "When a Man Loves a Woman" by Percy Sledge. A great tune by the way.

My engineering snobbery was rightly tarnished. I realized at that moment and never forgot that "It is about the music." And still is come to think of it. ;-)

Croft said...

If it is the one with the power supply then it is up to $56! Big bucks but a fraction of what you probably paid.

Anonymous said...

Where did the Why Work post go?

- Mexican Trailrunner said...

Very enjoyable post, kinda makes you feel like an old buzzard, huh?
Hate to see things going into the dumpster, can you not find a needy charity that could use some of it? Especially the records. Well, bet you can sell the whole lot of them on eBay.
I'm looking for about 8 bulletproof vests, in case you've got a few of them stashed away. . .
No, not for me, for Cruz Roja medics.
Have fun in The Citttty!

Tancho said...

One of my jobs out of high school was building a studio for a guy named Jim Seagrave. He built a studio called Sound City, this was 1966 and we recorded an album in the studio for a group.
I left about 10 o'clock at night to go home and left the owner who was and A&R man from way back.
I returned on Monday to my amazement, the studio was transformed into a psychedelic graffiti laden object. The walls which was soundproofing boards were all painted, the studio divider glass was paineted and etched with something and half the board configuration , which at that time was all hardwired had been changed.
They pressed the album which was a low budget non label job and I got two of the pressings. I listened to one of them and just didn't care for that kind of noise.
Fast forward 20+ years, turns out I had met the artists, and mingled with them less their motivational drugs of choice ( mind you I was about 17 or 18 yrs old at the time and real straight).
Ken Kesey, Jerry Garcia, and the boys......
I sold the last album on ebay about 3 years ago for close to 1K to a collector in Germany.
Life in the city was grand and interesting.....
Maybe I should make a site about life in the city, and life in the 60's in the Haight .......and other stuff.
But that got nothing to do with Mexico.....
My first look at a real studio was on in Hollywood in about 68 at SoundRecorders somewhere in Hollywood. Wow, what stuff they had. They showed me their remote echo send system and I came back and made one at Sound City using an old room in a building next door.
Now if course there is no need for stuff like that......time's change.
Funny how interesting stuff was back then, like the first radio station I worked at, had a 5 channel old Gates Producer and an Altec board. It was a 1 KW daytime station....I don't think they even have daytime stations anymore.

Croft....yet for what I paid for that Altec Microphone you could have bought a Volkswagen back then....I will be happy if I get a hundred bucks now......
You should see how sad it was to sell other inventory from one of my other ventures......

Marilyn, only have the one that I wear when chasing off the people that want to cut our trees on the ranch....
Why would Cruz Roja members need that kind of protection? They should just make it known the first time they get into any problems , they leave.....

Tancho said...

I also had a old RCA BC3 that we used to make some records for a guy, we kept saying he wanted a board that didn't have those damn transistors. The BC3A had a wheel barrow full of 12AX7's...
We also used lots of RCA ribbon mics, I sold my last one about 5 years ago for almost a grand.
I should have got rid of all that stuff years ago..but for some demented reason I was hanging on to the stuff.

Calypso said...

The RCA ribbon mics are solid gold now. Good ol' RCA 44's and 77's Those old ribbon mics are now being made in replicas and Chinese knockoffs - we are indeed a dying breed amigo!

Thanks for the memories ;-)

1st Mate said...

What's really heartbreaking is how much that stuff cost back then. I keep vowing I will just stop with the new stuff, be content with what I've got.

I may know some antique dealers in CA who trade in LPs, in good condition.

Tancho said...

That's easier said than done. I have a whole drawer of cell phones that I loved and resisted in giving up, except that the technology was always forcing me to have to get the "new" one. Personally I loved analog.
Analog everything. Sounded better and I could fix it.
Knowing that everything now has a product life, I too contemplate if I really need it.
Less is better, nowadays.....

- Mexican Trailrunner said...

A Cruz Roja paramedic was one of the fatalities in the car bombing up north a couple of weeks ago. Followed by an attempted kidnapping of a 22 year old son of business man in Chapala who was shot by perps but got away, patient taken to CR Chapala! Cops got 'em, they had grenades, AK47s in car and said they were members of La Familia battling another cartel for leadership in Guad and area. Slight increase in violence in area, more to follow without doubt.
Yes, medics not supposed to enter scene until deemed 'safe' by cops, problem is unless they have shooter, scene is never safe and cops will let medics in anyway.
Tanch, do you know Village Music in Mill Valley???? Specialize in vintage records:

JerryL said...

Sounds like you have had an interesting career. It wasn't until about 20 years ago that I stated enjoying the Dead. Long after Kesey died and half the band.